Rice is one of the most revered and consumed foods on the planet. In many parts of the world, it is a staple that is consumed daily. Rice is a semi-aquatic grain that requires a lot of sunlight and water to grow. It grows well on porous clay and silt soil unsuitable for growing other grains. In some European and North American cultures, rice was not typically consumed. This has changed over the past 50 years as African and Asian cuisines were gradually introduced to northern markets.
The International Rice Gene Bank has over 132,000 varieties of rice. The bank includes cultivated rice species, wild relatives, and species from related genera. They are organized by genetics, thickness, stickiness, grain length, aroma, and cultivation method. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) runs this bank.
The institute’s purpose is not only to study and safeguard rice as a staple but through the rice to reduce food insecurity, support a healthier planet, tackle climate change, engage women and reduce poverty.
Related: What Are the Top 5 Criteria To Choose Halal Stocks?
Some popular types of rice include:
- Basmati – long grain rice consumed in South Asia.
- Jasmine – is a famous, aromatic, long-grain rice originating in Thailand.
- Japanese – short-grain rice that is sticky and is found in wide varieties.
- California – called Calrose – is a medium grain sticky rice similar to Japanese.
- Italian – medium grain rice used for dishes like risotto and rice pudding.
- Spanish rice – often called Valencia rice, used to make paella – is a popular rice dish in Spain.
- Wild rice – not rice–is grass grown in North America. It’s high in fiber and low in sugar/carbs—a healthy substitute for traditional rice.
- Black rice – often confused with wild rice – is not grass. It is a whole-grain rice high in protein, iron, and antioxidants.
- Brown rice is a whole grain rice with husk, bran, and germ. It has a nutty taste.
Related: 3 Reasons Why You Need a Halal Mark on Your Product Packaging
Rice growers are both victims of climate change and contributors to it. Floods, severe weather like typhoons, hurricanes, and wild temperature variations threaten rice crops and the lives of hundreds of millions of people who depend on them. At the same time, traditional rice-growing techniques of flooding fields and burning straw contribute to a whopping 12% of the global creation of the dangerous greenhouse gas methane. The worldwide love of rice and dependence on it is affecting the planet. Researchers, trade associations, NGOs, and governments are looking for ways to grow rice more efficiently while reducing its environmental impact. See the sustainability report here.
Some consumers and farmers are switching to other grains or plants to combat climate change, promote sustainability, and change dietary consumption. Substitutes for rice are:
- Riced cauliflower
- Riced broccoli
- Shredded cabbage
- Shirataki konjac rice
- Bulgur wheat
- Sweet potato
Related: Halal Shopper’s Guide: What To Eat Halal? What Not To Eat?
Is Rice Halal?
Rice is a plant and is Halal by nature. Most rice products like rice flour, vinegar, and milk are Halal. Saké is an alcohol made from rice which is not Halal. Saké contains 14%-16% alcohol. How the rice is transported and stored also affects its Halal status. It needs to be handled in a way that prevents cross-contamination with non-Halal products. Finally, some cultures prepare rice with alcohol, animal fats, and meats.
Prepared meals and packaged rice products must also be examined for Halal compliance.
Islamic Services of America (ISA) has been a leading USA-based Halal certification and auditing organization serving companies, the community, and the Halal industry for over 45 years. Contact ISA at [email protected] or visit the ISA website for more information at www.isahalal.com
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.